Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day May '12

It's that time of year again, I love me a giveaway and before I go check out all the fabulous ones going on through Sew Mama Sew, I thought I better get my giveaway going!
For any newcomers here I do hope you will come back for a poke about at some point (after the frenzy of entering giveaways!)
For my lovely followers, this is not my bloggiversary giveaway, I will be holding that for you separately and soon! Of course please enter this one too
So today I have a fun little zipper pouch with some of my fav fabrics

A little red, white and blue (I'm still patriotic despite having moved to Oz and despite it having a Paris themed fabric hahaha)

And lined with a pretty DS fabric

So to win just leave me a comment, tell me what you have in your sewing room for inspiration. I will post internationally.
Followers new and old can have a second entry because I love ya, just leave me an separate comment
A winner will be picked by the random generator thingy and contacted by email so make sure you're not a no reply blogger!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bloggers Quilt Festival May 2012

Bloggers quilt festival is here and it's so well timed to keep those of us that haven't gone to Quilt Market happy. I love this festival, getting inspired and finding other great bloggers to follow.
I was hoping to have a couple of brand new quilts to show but I got too distracted with other bits and pieces and haven't managed to quilt them yet (still need to buy backing fabric!)
Instead im going to show you my London mini quilt. For any new visitors here I've just moved from England to Australia and before I left I wanted to make something to remind me of home.

It's got lots of famous London landmarks on it

As well as a few iconic British symbols

Some traditional English sayings!

The weather!

And a taxi on Tower Bridge

I'm glad I made it before I left as I now have the memories of showing my mum and sisters and asking their opinions etc. as soon as we move into our new place (end of the month woo hoo!!!) it will be put up on my new sewing room wall.
And if you're interested here are the quilt tops I was trying to turn into finished quilts to enter into this festival

And this pile is one of the reasons I got distracted from finishing them.

I've got something very special planned for these and some amazing fabrics on order to join them (lots of Suzuko Koseki and some Heather Ross!!)
Anyway I'm off to spend lots of time looking at all the other wonderful entries while leisurely enjoying a coffee. Enjoy the festival and I hope you will visit me again

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Quilt tops a go go

I have been making quilt tops like its nobody's business.
My Summersville arrived and I had plans to use the turquoise and orange to make quilts for the boys. I'd ordered a jelly roll and a layer cake but there wasn't much orange in them so I had to add some other bits and pieces. I wanted the prints to really shine so they are set against a contrast solid.

I will do a post showing more detail soon! Just need to quilt them now!

Next I started hairys quilt. A while back I won a fat quarter bundle of Parsons Grey Curious Nature from the fat quarter shop. I threw in a few extras and added a 6th colour (I'm loving mustard so much at the mo)

Excuse the pic, I had to pin it up to the curtains to look at it properly! It's going to be set on a navy background and I've got a gorgeous mustard check flannel for the backing (all very manly!)

I also had been commissioned by Modern Quilting Magazine to do a project for them but we all know what's happened to them (if you don't go check out Jenna's posts over at Sew Happy Geek) so I can show you the ironing board cover I was working on for that

It's still got to be cut to shape and quilted, I've got some fun quilting ideas for this one!

So far lots of projects that now need quilting. I need to buy backing fabric for everything though $$$$!!! it's such a shame that quilting is such an expensive hobby, I'm really feeling it now that I'm not working. I feel guilty spending money that hairy has been earning for my quilting hobby! So I'm busy working towards setting up my own etsy shop. If all goes to plan it will include patterns (quilts and paper pieced blocks) and some handmade items. It won't be for a little while yet as I've got a whole lot of making and writing up to do, but keep an eye out!

PS I promise I haven't forgotten that giveaway/giveaways they will be coming soon!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

What I'm doing now

I'm so behind on my bee blocks, sorry guys I promise I will get them done! In fact you might remember the paper pieced kitty? Well I'm finishing her face right now

Her whiskers are going on very slowly though so it may take me a few nights.
4 Bee blocks to do this month to catch up, I can do it I'm sure

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Sewing Space - Sarah from Fairy Face Designs

This week we have the super talented Sarah from Fairy Face Designs. I'm sure you have all visited her blog and seen the great stuff she has on there but if you are not then definitely head over, there is always loads going on there.
Thanks Sarah for giving us a glimpse into your space, you sound much much more organised than I am and much tidier!
Where is your Sewing Space?
My sewing space doubles as my kitchen table. Oops, maybe I should reverse that statement!! Actually, sometimes it feels like that though :-) I don't have a spare room that I can use for sewing, living in a very modest little house, so my stuff is stashed in a number of places in the kitchen, playroom and living room. I have most of my storage on some shelves in the playroom, and I have a box of handsewing stuff in the living room behind the sofa.
What 3 words do you feel best describes it?
Never enough room
What are your most important things in there?
My sewing machine and my stash of fabric are the most important things in my sewing space. My sewing machine lives permanently on the kitchen table, cunningly disguised by a lovely cover Kirsten made for me last year. We are a 4 person family, and our table is against the wall, so luckily there is plenty of room to leave it there like that. My stash of fabrics is on shelving in the playroom, crammed into various baskets and boxes. It is a bit of a pain pulling fabric as it entails a big tidy up job afterwards, but I wouldn't be without it!

How is the room laid out?
I have a number of *ahem* space saving devices I use in the kitchen to disguise my sewing stuff...... My cutting board and rulers are hidden out of site, under the table. They rest on the seats of the 2 unused chairs against the wall. Keeps them flat and safe. I have an open basket of current WIPs that lives on the table beside the machine as its just too much trouble pulling them in and out. A few little boxes holding thread, zippers, other bits and bobs. My ironing board lives behind the dryer and is taken out every evening. I have a small one from Ikea that I use if I'm working on blocks or something that doesn't require lots of pressing yardage. My UFO box (with my finished quilt tops awaiting quilting and my WIP curtains) and sewing basket live on top of the dryer beside my laundry basket. It's not clear from the pictures, but they are right beside my kitchen table. Usually, I cut, then put away the board, then start to sew. But if I am lazy, I put the board on one end of my table, machine on the other and pile the fabric on the chairs. That's when my hubbie wants to run away, the kitchen ends up covered in fabric.

What sort of sewing machine do you have and how do you feel about it?
I have a Pfaff Expression 2.0 and I love, love, love it! I have it about 18 months now and I love the long throat and the different functions. It needs a service pretty badly now though.
Do you have anything in the room for inspiration?
I have a shelf of crafting books beside my fabric stash and I regularly flick through them for inspiration. The laptop lives on the counter behind the kitchen table, so its easy to access Flickr, Pinterest etc. I keep meaning to hang some mini quilts on the wall over the table, but am conscious that its a family room so I don't want to take over with my stuff more than I already have. Plus I live in hope of converting a corner in the playroom to be my space and would hang them there instead.
Where do you keep your fabric stash and how do you organise it?
It lives in the playroom, up on 2 high shelves. I have a big box for yardage, 2 baskets of FQs and smaller bits, organised into lights and darks. A few scrap baskets. A box with solids and novelty prints. A hat box with precuts, another with ribbons etc. Oh - and then there is the shelf that has batting, interfacing, fleece, minky etc.

Do you have any top tips to do with work spaces?
It is totally possible to carve out space for yourself in a house that is small, if you are clever about storage but it is important to tidy as you go. I am not a tidy person by nature, so its a real challenge to me. But I find it much better to try and keep it under control, rather than when it just starts to jump out at me from the shelves and I find my daughter using fat quarters of precious fabric for doll blankets because they have fallen down onto the floor! Or finding fabric I forgot I bought underneath something else........ Still, I dream of having my own little room for my sewing space, and I am working hard on not feeling envious of people who have a dedicated room they can call their own!
What would your ideal workspace look like?
I saw Alicia Paulson's new sewing room online last year and I have been green with envy ever since. I would just LOVE something like hers, with the light and the space and the storage .....dreaming, dreaming, dreaming!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us Sarah. It's so good to see how people cope with different sized rooms and with sewing in a room that is also used for something else!
Did you notice that mini quilt of Sarah's? I am seriously in love with triangles and that mini is totally gorgeous!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Sewing Space - Diary of a Flutter. Kat

Have you all come across Kat before? Im sure you have, she creates such beautiful things, some of which she also sells in her online shop (and can I say they are super good prices!) she has recently ventured into childrens' clothes and they are really lovely.
Kat has also recently hosted Good Etiquette for the Modern Blogger (Revisited) and lined up some great bloggers that we know and love to give their opinion on all things social media related, definitely one to check out.

Hello to anyone that has come over from Kats' blog, its lovely to have you, feel free to take a nose at some of the other Sunday Sewing Spaces that I have hosted (im planning on stealing lots of ideas when I finally set up my own space when we move!)

Finally dont forget that this week is my 1 year bloggiversary and after all of your wonderful commebts then I have decided to have a few giveaways so there will be fabric and handmade goodness for you to choose from. The giveaways will be coming up throughout the month of May (to give me time to make some stuff!!!) so make sure you check back often or follow to hear more details.

Ok so over to Kat, thank you for showing us around your space today, its lovely and so well organised, I can only dream of being as organised as you are!

Where is your Sewing Space?
I am extremely lucky enough to be able to use our third bedroom as my creative office/studio space. Our house is not huge, but one of its assets is that the bedrooms are pretty generous in size meaning our two girls comfortably share a room. That leaves us a room to use as the studio. 

We all win by the arrangement because my daughters spend just about as much time in there creating as I do. Of course that means it's not always as blemish free from pen on the desks etc. as I'd like. That can be frustrating since I sew for business and also teach small classes in there, but never the less it works ok and it's so good for them to have space in their too.... 

What 3 words do you feel best describes it?
Satisfying. Loved. Functional.

What are your most important things in there?
My three most important things in there are my main sewing machine, my overlocker & my stash. I couldn't do without those that's for sure!! The rest is just a bonus.

I suppose the other most important thing is all my storage space. It's nothing flash - in fact it's really the cheapest stuff that money can buy from Ikea and a bunch of $20 shelf units purchased from "the reject shop". But by putting those shelf units on top of each other on top of a table (also cheap as chips from ikea), it's functional and boy it helps me stay organised.

How is the room laid out ie. Sewing machine, ironing board, cutting table etc?
One of the things I have worked hard to get is lots of desk space and storage. So I now have 3 different stations and tend to try and have my main work spaces set out in a triangle for ease of use.

What sort of sewing machine do you have and how do you feel about it?
I have a Brother Innovis 1200 sewing and embroidery machine. I can just about count on one hand how many times I've used the embroidery function, but that being said I LOVE it to bits and I certainly work it hard. It sews like a workhorse hardly ever giving me trouble, which is exactly what I need. It also has a lot of features that help me sew more efficiently e.g. thread cutter, needle threader, auto tension etc... 

I was lucky enough to pick it up at a clearance price and would never have been able to afford it at full price. So I am forever thankful that I happened to be in the right place at the right time to find it at such a discount!!

My second machine is a good quality second hand (20 year old) Pfaff which I purchased last year as a spare for teaching or in case my main machine breaks down. That is also a great machine and often I use them both at the same time - e.g. one for shirring & one of top stitching etc...

Do you have anything in the room for inspiration?
I have many things in the room that inspire me. Highest up on my list are the things I've received in swaps. This mini quilts adorn the wall in from of my sewing machines...

(usually I have another from my Denyse Schmidt dolls quilt swap too but it fell down and I have to get a new sticky hook...)

I have swap mugrugs right next to were I sew and lots of "pretty little" purses from the pretty {little} purse swaps I've been in dotted around the room holding sewing notions...

I also have a bag hanging on my pinboard that has the handprint of someone freed from sexual slavery on it. It reminds me to think outside my four walls and remember how lucky I am to live the life that I do.

Where do you keep your fabric stash and how do you organise it?
I keep my fabric stash on shelves. 
It probably gives many people kittens at the fact I have so much fabric exposed to the open light like that but there is a very good reason that I can get away with it like that...
Where I live in Perth it is extremely hot and sunny for much of the year. So from about September through til April we have shutters down on our bedrooms to block out the sun and heat. That unfortunately limits the natural light in my sewing room, but at the same time it means that I don't have to worry as much as I would normally about my fabric fading.

However, just this week we have lifted our shutters for the winter season which means I now have to cover all my fabric up. You can see above that I have one curtain already, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) my stash has grown so much since last year (I started making children's clothes for business) and it no longer fits under the curtain. I'm going to have to make some more curtains to cover my stash quick smart, but until then I try and keep the curtains shut while I'm not in there.

I organise my stash into sections. I have my quilting stash - that is mostly all from half a yard down. I rarely buy bigger cuts than that unless I can see myself using it as a backing.
Then I have my dress making fabrics. The majority of those are for the little girls dresses/outfits that I make for my business.
Thirdly I have my solids & tutu fabrics.

In the drawers I keep my scraps. All small and odd sized scraps go into one huge drawer. I used to organise them by colour but I just generate them too quickly to be bothered and for what I tend to use them for it doesn't really matter if all the odd shaped scraps are all mixed in together..
In another drawer I keep all my very very precious fabrics & scraps. And in another I keep all my strips & squares, sorted by size.

Do you have any top tips to do with work spaces?
Hmmm.... My main tip would probably be staying organised. There's nothing worse than spending valuable sewing time trying to find something. The other thing I suppose that I've learned is to really utilise your vertical space. A lot of people neglect the vertical space when designing their workspace but you can fit so much more in a small space by making the most of the vertical area.

What would your ideal workspace look like/be.
To be honest I can't think of much that I'd like to change for now. I've worked hard to get my space to this point and I'm very happy with it.
There will obviously always be dream scenarios like huge custom built spaces etc. etc. but for now I'm happy with my reality :)

Thanks for having me Charlotte!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

1 year old

OMG just looked back through my posts as I knew my 1 year bloggerversary was coming up and seen its actually today! So yay happy bloggerversary to me and thanks to everyone who reads! I would be lonely without you great peeps, you brighten my day with your comments, make me laugh out loud sometimes and spur me on to sew more. I truly do love ya!

Now as I've only just realised that Lawson and Lotti is 1 today, I have nothing lined up to celebrate but give me a few days and I will sort something!

While I'm sorting, tell me what your fav giveaway is book, fabric, something made or none of the above (give details!)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hot Fabrics

Oh my there are some great fabric ranges around at the moment or coming up shortly. There are a couple that I especially love that I wanted to share with you.

Firstly you know how much I love Lu Summers! My lovely sis kindly bought me some of her hand screen printed fabrics for my birthday which you occasionally see cropping up in my projects (although I use them sparingly as I treasure them!)

Well Im sure that you are well aware that her first range has just come out for Moda, but do you know that places are already selling out of it! I have ordered mine but unfortunately funds have not allowed me to buy anywhere near as much as I would have liked. This is a range that I want to stock up on, fill my stash with and hoard!!!

Mine is winging its way over from the States as we speak courtesy of Pink Castle Fabrics, im desperately hoping that it doesnt take long, posting anything to Oz seem to take forever!

Speaking of Pink Castle Fabrics and of great fabric ranges, they have just posted their Pre-Sale of Mama Said Sew! Have you seen this range? It is a classic and I really think its going to be another massive seller. The colours are great and go with everything, theres text print, zigzags and pinwheels, not girly but not boyish either so it will go with everything!!!

I am going to need me some of this. It doesn't come out until August 2012 but I dont think it will hang about. You can however pre-order it already here Im not on commission unfortunately but tell them I sent you anyway, Brenda who owns the store is really lovely, I follow her on twitter.

To Do First May

Well things are getting slightly better around here on the sewing front. I managed to get a few bits and pieces done this month at least

The only thing that I really wanted to achieve for April was to get all caught up on my bee blocks but I still havent managed it!
I did get my fish done finally though!

I said that if I got the chance then I would work on my commissioned baby quilt and my own hst quilt. Well I didn't work on the commission (not due til November so no hurry!) but I did do not 1 but 2 hst quilts and they went from being for me to being for each of my boys for their bedroom when we move

Only tops done so far, quilting will have to wait a while I think

I did manage to do 2 things that I was desperately hoping to find time to do.
I entered the Sew Out Loud Competition with this paper pieced entry (and found out that I have got through to the final 5!)

And I entered Fabric8, a fabric design competition held by Spoonflower and Robert Kaufmann. The 100 that get through to the next round will be announced on May 3rd, please keep your fingers crossed for me!
Above is what a yard would look like and below is what a fat quarter would look like
Elegant 20

Linking up this months makes with Lily's quilts and as always trying to make myself get stuff done by writing Mays To Do List (feel free to join me by linking up at the end!)

Must Do -

Bee Blocks - last months and this months (I really hate being behind, must get on top of it!)
 - Sew Bee Joyful - A paper pieced Teapot or tea block of my own design for April and Books for May
 - Piece Bee With You - A cold/flu themed block for April and not yet sure about Mays (who had May, must check!)

Secret Project - I have a really fun and very exciting secret project in the pipeline, stay tuned all will be revealed in good time. Here are the fabrics that I have picked out for it

Might Do -

Start making things for the new house, I have written myself a massive list but I might wait until we get in there to get more of a feel for what I want/need

Lu Summers quilts - my fabric is on order, the designs are drawn up, I just need to wait for the fabric to arrive. Have you bought yours yet? everywhere seems to be selling out really quickly so dont hang about if you want some! Mine is going to become more quilts for the boys room.

Commissioned baby quilt - I doubt it but we will see

Written a To Do List for the month? Come on lets see it